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Fracking (No I did not make a spelling mistake)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 01:08
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Who has some first hand knowledge of the enviromental impact of deep fracking shale for gas?
 
Apparently it has been done for several years now in USA. The other night we had an American talking about the bad effects of fracking.
 
The beef is this: Our "great leaders" of South Africa has opened up exploration for natural gas in a very sensitive semi arid region known as the Great Karoo. It is a vast sheep farming (mostly) area with ground water playing a major role in every bodies lives in this area.
The against crowd is preaching hell and damnation to follow fracking. The for crowd is preaching riches, jobs and wealth.
 
So what is it?
 
The American, I forgot his name, had uncovered huge fracking taking place in Botswana in some of the most sensitive areas for wildlife. The Botswana Govt first denied it, then when presented with his damning evidence came clean.
 
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I don't have any first-hand knowledge about the fracking process.  But I worked in the oilfield for 25 years and fracking was simply a way of life when the oil companies 'completed' the good oil wells that were drilled. 

The oil companies ( the Operators ) use chemicals or water under pressure to fracture the shale formations to get the oil to flow free.  They have been doing this since the 1940s.  

It was not until a few years ago that I ever heard about any dire, catastrophic environmental damage being caused by fracking....including causing earthquakes!!  Shocked  

I guess some people have had their water wells contaminated because the fracking had affected an aquifer.  I can believe that.  Accidents happen.  

Keep researching.  Don't listen to anyone who is a LEFTIE....not only about fracking, but even about whether the sun is shining or not!!  Bucky   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 07:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 08:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 09:09
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I know nothing about it, but in Utah fracking is the main way they get oil and natural gas.  They do it all around where I live.  To my knowledge it has not caused any issues with our aquifer.  But like I said I know very little about it other than it is being done a lot.    
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I can tell you that without a doubt, hydraulic fracking is THE biggest single driver of economic growth in the US today. It is responsible for more new jobs and higher wages than any other single factor. Its positive effect to our economy simply cannot be overstated. Most of my company's customers are in the energy sector, and several of them are in the fracking business. We actually manufacture frack sand/fluid test equipment for them, and business is very good.

The doomsayers will always preach doom and gloom with any new emerging technology that sparks economic growth, because they are agenda-driven ideologues. The doomsday predictions from the enviros almost never actually come true, though.

As with so many other hot-button topics, there are extremists on both sides of the pro/con argument, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Since fracking reduces dependency on coal in favor of natural gas for power generation, in that respect it has very positive environmental effects. Despite propaganda films like "Gasland," there has been no conclusive scientific proof linking fracking to any actual environmental contamination. That movie shows people lighting the water coming out of a faucet on fire, supposedly as evidence that fracking has polluted the groundwater with methane. What it conveniently omits, however, is the fact that this phenomenon has been demonstrated for decades before fracking was ever invented, due to naturally-occurring methane in groundwater found in multiple regions throughout the US.

This is not to say that fracking is without potential hazards. There are always multiple risks involved with any energy source extraction process. Such is the nature of the energy business, but harnessing energy sources is vital to our existence, and solar, wind, and water turbines alone simply aren't capable of supplying that energy need.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 10:09
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No one has first hand knowledge that is why all the arguments are being made.

During the Carter administration large scale removal of oil from sand in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah was a major political and economic topic. Entire communities sprang up from Vernal to Grand Junction and Evanston wyo to the east. Then when federal funds dried up, entire familes moved out and caused one of the largest housing busts in history. (Battlement Mesa, etc).

the actual fracking process simply uses a lighter petroleum solvent to "wash" the heavier tar like compounds out of the soil, move them to a "fracking" area where they are then separated using heat in a type of distillation process "fracking".

whether the oil industry as a whole is destructive to the environment, only needs a historical review. simply look at the British Petroleum blow off in the gulf of Mexico. whether anyone is going to listen and fight the big money is another question.

personally I was hoping the fracking would weaken the earth plates in the Yellowstone area enough to have it blow. (largest volcano in the world, 55 miles across). but as they cut the "projected" amount by 90% since Carter who knows. Ah snap. 

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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

the actual fracking process simply uses a lighter petroleum solvent to "wash" the heavier tar like compounds out of the soil, move them to a "fracking" area where they are then separated using heat in a type of distillation process "fracking".



Just a point of correction here... your description above is incorrect. The term "fracking" comes from "fracturing," and doesn't refer to any distillation process whatsoever. The term simply refers to fluid pumped down into the formation under very high pressure and fracturing the rock hydraulically in the zone of extraction to free up the natural gas trapped in the rock that would be impossible to extract otherwise. "Fracking fluid" is pumped into the well, consisting of "qualified" sand or "proppant," water, and various chemicals. The various chemicals used serve multiple purposes: gelling agents to increase the viscosity of the fluid to more effectively carry the sand "proppant" further into the fractures, acids to clean the fractures, bacteriacides, corrosion inhibitors, scale formation preventers, lubricants, etc.  The sand (which must be of a consistent size and shape) is called "proppant" because it is left behind to "prop open" the fractures after the fluid is pumped out, while still being permeable enough to allow the oil and natural gas to flow through it.
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

the actual fracking process simply uses a lighter petroleum solvent to "wash" the heavier tar like compounds out of the soil, move them to a "fracking" area where they are then separated using heat in a type of distillation process "fracking".



Just a point of correction here... your description above is incorrect. The term "fracking" comes from "fracturing," and doesn't refer to any distillation process whatsoever. The term simply refers to fluid pumped down into the formation under very high pressure and fracturing the rock hydraulically in the zone of extraction to free up the natural gas trapped in the rock that would be impossible to extract otherwise. "Fracking fluid" is pumped into the well, consisting of "qualified" sand or "proppant," water, and various chemicals. The various chemicals used serve multiple purposes: gelling agents to increase the viscosity of the fluid to more effectively carry the sand "proppant" further into the fractures, acids to clean the fractures, bacteriacides, corrosion inhibitors, scale formation preventers, lubricants, etc.  The sand (which must be of a consistent size and shape) is called "proppant" because it is left behind to "prop open" the fractures after the fluid is pumped out, while still being permeable enough to allow the oil and natural gas to flow through it.

Ted has the correct term for it right here.  That is exactly what is being done.  I am on site with these operations several times a week getting ready for the oil production coming with in days of them "fracking".  The gas, oil, and water really flows after this process.  We had one well recently that started flowing at 300 barrels per hour and that was just the oil.  It is still flowing at 180 barrels per hour a month later

I know one environmental concern that many people as is what it does to the drinking water.  My guess is nothing.  The water tables here in North Dakota and Montana go down to about 2000 feet.  The "fracking" takes place at about 10,000 feet down.  There are two main formations that we deal with out here, the Bakken and Three Forks.  There is only a couple hundred feet between these in places and even with the large amounts of pressure developed in fracking, they can't break between those two formations.  They tried according to the fracking operators I have talked to.  I don't worry about the fracking hurting the water tables at all.  8,000 feet is a lot of territory to cover in that many layers of rock.

Also, with the thousands of wells that have been fracked and the hundreds done each day up here, I have never felt an earthquake from it.  A lot of hype if you ask me from environmental groups trying to get there way.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 12:02
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And another note on that article, I am not sure they understand how the casing works in a well.  Out here when a well is drilled they drill down about 2400 feet through the water tables and put in 9 5/8" steel casing.  They then drill down to 10,000 feet through the curve and put in 7" casing that also runs inside the 9 5/8" casing.  They then drill the laterals out about 10,000 feet and put in 4" casing.  When they frack the well they run 4" casing from the well head down to the lateral casing.  With the processes used, at least out here, there is very little chance of contaminating the water supplies due to casing issues.  All the fluid and gas travels up the casing to the wellhead where flow is controlled by chokes.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 12:41
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sorry about that, I was relating more about the total methodology

thanks for the more complete and complexexplanation dude and helo such and I'm sure  its even more complex the deeper one gets into it.

whats that formula that relates the probability of an accident to the increase in complexity. I'll bet exxon has it written on their corporate wall.

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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

sorry about that, I was relating more about the total methodology



??? your description had no relevance to the actual methodology whatsoever. Sorry.

You must be thinking of another process.
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I thought fracking was something 2 people did on Battle Star GalacticaWink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 14:27
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just talking about the flow from initial to final product. mellow dude. I've got vested interests in this too. Oil and gas leases in Wyoming and still some real estate stuff in Vernal. I love disasters. Look for them every morning before the markets open in companies that thought they had it right. Stocks go down 10 times faster than they go up, perfect short sell out by the end of the day. I just don't polish the truth. Its just a good thing there isn't something like the Gas and Oil Administration (FDA) to really screw things up with what Merck did with Vioxx. But I guess there is all that EPA stuff to make up for it. Seem to recall the probability vs. catastrophe curve wasn't linear. God what a great country!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 15:41
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I'm going to start calling Ted ....Mr. Peabody...Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 15:43
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Drew they actually put 2400 ft of 9.5" casing in here well?  $$$$$
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 16:13
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

I'm going to start calling Ted ....Mr. Peabody...Smile


A talking dog?

...uh... thanks?
Cool
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 16:58
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Well I guess Brainiac  doesn't fit afterall... Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2014 at 18:33
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

Drew they actually put 2400 ft of 9.5" casing in here well?  $$$$$

There is about 2400 feet of 9 5/8" casing, 10000 feet of 7" casing, 20000 feet of 4" casing and then production tubing and some wells may even have an additional 9000 feet of 5 1/2" casing if needed cemented inside the 7" but this is not common.

For the initial flowback there is up to a little over 43,000 feet of steel casing in the ground.  By the time the horse head is on later in the well life, it is probably down around 22,000 feet of casing and 9000 feet of pump rod.

And you wonder why steel prices are high.  On a side not, you can tell the difference in steel from the US, Russia, and China.  Seen and worked with all three out here.  US is still be best I have worked with out here.  Chinese steel is the worst.
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So is their brass!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/06/2014 at 00:37
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Thanks for all the feedback and debate. I have no experience in this matter, but I am sure I will have in 10 years time. Will it cause damage to groundwater and the enviroment, or will it bring LASTING wealth.
 
By the by, this American stated that gas seeps from the wells at a loss of about 5%, enough to pollute the air to offset coal replacement, so 6 of one or 1/2 dozen of the other.
Watch this space......for about 10 yearsBig Smile
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It is all about availability....
 
Good Luck in soon to be a crater Africa....  Howdy
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